Because weight loss surgery is still “considered” cosmetic surgery, it can be excluded from insurance plans that are self-funded by the employer. Tell an insulin-dependent diabetic that now takes no diabetic medication after bariatric surgery that it is cosmetic surgery and see your response! I tell patients in my seminar that we do not do surgery so you look better and feel better. We do weight loss surgery so you live longer and live better. In keeping with the ASMBS position statement for low BMI patients, we believe the 1991 NIH criteria that insurance companies use to determine who qualifies for weight loss surgery is out-dated. We also agree that obesity is a chronic disease and that earlier intervention is associated with greater long term success. Therefore, we will provide the appropriate self-funding candidate a surgical option for BMI >30 with co-morbidities, especially with a strong family history of diabetes or metabolic syndrome. All of our insurance candidates must have a BMI of 35.
Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery using the Roux-en-Y procedure has a long history of successful weight loss in the United States and is regarded as the most effective treatment for morbid obesity currently available.
Sleeve gastrectomy is a relatively new bariatric procedure in the United States. You may also hear sleeve gastrectomy, called a vertical gastrectomy, restrictive vertical gastroplasty, or vertical sleeve gastrectomy.
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